Taking care of the lungs is essential for anyone who is focusing on improving their overall health. That is because, when excess mucus is present, it can be very discomforting — especially if you just can’t seem to get rid of it.
The good news is, there are several natural herbs that studies have shown to contain potent therapeutic properties that are beneficial for the lungs and respiratory system.
In this article, we’re going to break down the top 10 herbs that you can use to clear up your lungs and make breathing easier. So if you’re ready, let’s get into it.
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The eucalyptus tree originated in Australia and has been a source of food for wildlife for centuries. It wasn’t until later on that humans discovered its positive health benefits.
The leaves of a eucalyptus tree can be distilled and diluted into an essential oil which can be used for medicinal purposes such as treating sinus congestion, common cold, fever, and other respiratory ailments.
Eucalyptus has a component called cineole which is an active ingredient that works as an expectorant. This means that it can ease a cough and aid in the removal of secretions.
Cineole has antioxidant and antimicrobial effects that can provide a boost to your immune system as well. It reacts with the mucous membranes of the lungs and helps loosen up secretions so that they can be coughed up more easily.
This means that it would be useful for those with allergies, sinus infections, and chest congestion.
Some people use this herb to make their on cough syrup by finely chopping up the leaves and mixing them with alcohol and honey. So if you’re interested in creating your own DIY concoction, this may be something to look into.
3. Osha Root
The roots of this herb contain several components that can provide a boost to your lungs and respiratory system.
Specifically, it helps increase blood circulation to your lungs which, in turn, helps improve oxygenation throughout the entire body.
Osha root also has antihistamine properties which works well for soothing sinus infections and other respiratory illnesses.
- Sore throat
- Common colds
A few drops of concentrated osha root extract can be added to your water or beverage of choice. The numbing effects help to alleviate the irritated tissues of your airways and respiratory tract.
Of course, and this goes for all home remedies: Always check with your doctor before medicating yourself at home because you don’t want to put anything into your body that it can’t handle.
Its an herb that has been used in traditional Asian medicine for centuries. Ginseng is known for its potent antioxidant properties which works well for fighting inflammation.
Not only is this beneficial for your lungs, it’s good for pretty much every organ and system in the human body. Not to mention, studies found that ginseng actually can provide a boost to your immune system as well. That’s not even why we included ginseng in this list.
The reason is, studies found that ginseng is beneficial for those with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). And in case you weren’t aware, COPD is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States, so it affects far more people than you probably realize.
Multiple studies found that those with stable COPD who take ginseng experience improvements in breathing and lung function which ultimately leads to a better overall quality of life.
Keep in mind, though, that at this time, there is no cure for COPD. But traditional medicine and herbs such as ginseng can provide some relief for the symptoms.
It’s another herb that has traditionally been used as a remedy for the lungs and respiratory tract thanks to its soothing ingredients.
The mullein leaf has antibacterial properties that fight against both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Some studies found that it even has antiviral and antifungal properties as well.
This trifecta is good when it comes to treating breathing issues that are associated with colds and respiratory infections.
The most practical way to consume mullein is as an herbal tea, or you can add a few drops of concentrated extract to other beverages as well.
You’ve probably heard of this one, and maybe you’ve even tried it at some point because it’s a plant that has become wildly popular over recent years.
The reason is, elderberry is known for its antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. This makes it great for boosting the immune system and treating colds, infections, and viruses.
Elderberry is also referred to as sambucus, and it’s most commonly consumed in the form of cough syrup. To give your immune system a boost, you can take one dose of elderberry per day. Or, if you’re already sick, you can look into increasing the frequency of your dosages.
Keep in mind that, although elderberry is generally considered to be safe, you don’t want to overdo it. As always, check with your doctor for the recommended uses and dosages.
Studies found that the astragalus root can boost the body’s resistance to infections and increase immune responses. This makes it a great option for those who want to strengthen their immune system and decrease their chances of being infected by certain viruses and bacteria.
Astragalus has been used to treat a wide variety of ailments, such as the common cold, allergies, and even chronic fatigue.
Bergamot is a citrus tree that is known for its ability to relieve feelings of stress and anxiety, but it contains properties that can make breathing easier as well.
Throughout history, its fruit juice was used for the treatment of a variety of different ailments. But more recently, it’s been formulated into an essential oil supplement that can be used for medicinal purposes.
That is because it contains antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties which is exactly why it can benefit your respiratory system. This essential oil can be used in aromatherapy and works as an expectorant to clear the nasal passages, fight congestion, and provide relief for chronic coughing.
This aids in the removal of mucus and phlegm which removes bacteria that causes lung infections and ultimately can make breathing easier.
Studies found that Lavender may offer benefits for those with COPD because it contains antioxidant properties that work to combat the progression of the disease.
One study found that it’s aromas help to decrease the production of cortisol. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone, so with decreased production of cortisol comes decreased levels of stress.
Bronchoconstriction is a symptom that comes with COPD and stress only makes matters worse because it causes the airways to constrict which makes it more difficult to breathe.
With that said, as your stress levels are decreased, the airways can open up more which makes it much easier for your lungs to take in oxygen and remove carbon dioxide.
Peppermint is an herb that is native to the Mediterranean region and, as its name suggests, is also part of the mint family.
The leaves of a peppermint tree can be formulated into an essential oil that was discovered to have analgesic, antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties that offer an array of benefits when it comes to improving your breathing.
One of the primary beneficial properties of peppermint oil is menthol. It’s an active ingredient that, when inhaled, provides a cooling sensation that can provide relief for a sore throat.
One study found that it also promotes relaxation in the muscles of the airways within the lungs, which causes them to open up so that they can take in more oxygen.
Peppermint is also traditionally used as one of the ingredients in chest rubs which helps provide relief for congestion. Keep in mind, though, that peppermint oil is not a bronchodilator so it should not be used as a replacement for Albuterol or other prescription medications.
So there you have it. Now you know about all of the best herbs for your lungs and respiratory system. Hopefully the information in this article can you breathe easier and improve your overall health.
We have another article that covers all of the Best Essentials Oils for Your Lungs, so definitely check that out it you’re interested.
Keep in mind that this article is for informational purposes only. As always, please speak with your doctor for medical advice and treatment. Thank you so much for reading and as always, breathe easy my friend.
Medical Disclaimer: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with a physician with any questions that you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you read in this article. We strive for 100% accuracy, but errors may occur, and medications, protocols, and treatment methods may change over time.
The following are the sources that were used while doing research for this article:
- “Traditional Medicinal Plants Used for Respiratory Disorders in Pakistan: A Review of the Ethno-Medicinal and Pharmacological Evidence.” PubMed Central (PMC), 31 Aug. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6145130.
- “Efficacy of Cineole in Patients Suffering from Acute Bronchitis: A Placebo-Controlled Double-Blind Trial.” PubMed Central (PMC), 31 Aug. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3842692.
- “Ginseng, the ‘Immunity Boost’: The Effects of Panax Ginseng on Immune System.” PubMed Central (PMC), 1 Oct. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3659612.
- “Panax Ginseng Therapy for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: A Clinical Trial Protocol and Pilot Study.” PubMed Central (PMC), 31 Aug. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4144315.
- “What’s in a Name? Can Mullein Weed Beat TB Where Modern Drugs Are Failing?” PubMed Central (PMC), 31 Aug. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2952292.
- “Spray Drying of a Subcritical Extract Using Marrubium Vulgare as a Method of Choice for Obtaining High Quality Powder.” PubMed Central (PMC), 1 Oct. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6835533.
- “Effects of Ligusticum Porteri (Osha) Root Extract on Human Promyelocytic Leukemia Cells.” PubMed Central (PMC), Apr. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5424556.